The elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the 2021-26 tenure on May 23 is an opportunity for the Vietnamese people to express their voices over such important issues as the nation’s leadership and the strengthening of local governments’ apparatus, said Professor Carl Thayer, an expert from Australia’s New South Wales University.
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Thayer said the Vietnamese legislature’s activities have undergone important changes during the country's process to build and strengthen its socialist rule-of-law state, especially since the adoption of the Constitution in 1992 (amended in 2001), the 2013 Constitution and the 2015 Law on Election of Deputies to the National Assembly and Deputies to People’s Councils.
According to the expert, this year's elections saw more than 69 million constituents eligible to vote, and all of the candidates were thoroughly evaluated to ensure qualification. The list of qualified candidates also exhibits diversity in composition with a high proportion of women and ethnic minorities, at 45 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
Evaluating the preparation for this important event, Thayer said that Vietnam has made extraordinary efforts in the context of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The National Election Council has adopted an official list of 866 qualified candidates, he noted, citing information from local press as saying that 84,767 election groups have been set up to run polling stations on the election day.
The expert said some of new important changes in the activities of Vietnam’s legislature today as the country is striving to build and strengthen a socialist law-ruled state are that candidates for elections must produce their action plans and meet with and answer questions from their constituents.
Worthy of note, newly elected deputies have the right to question ministers and freely debate draft legislation put before them. They must consult regularly with their constituents during their term in office.
Particularly, key members of the National Assembly are subject to votes of confidence by the deputies.
According to Thayer, the immediate task of the first session of the National Assembly will be to elect the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the National Assembly, other members of the National Assembly Standing Committee, heads of National Assembly Committees, the President, Prime Minister, members of the cabinet, and other officials holding minister-equivalent posts such as the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuracy.- (VNA/VLLF)